In Chapter 4 of Life is Strange, “Dark Room,” you are faced with a choice:
Euthanize, or refuse to euthanize, your best friend Chloe, who is dying from an injury that has left her paralyzed.
I know that Chloe’s intent isn’t malicious. Her parents are up to their eyes in debt paying her medical bills, only a miracle will cure her, and she’s slowly dying. And here you come, her best friend Max, back in her life after 5 years apart. You spend the day with Chloe and, despite everything that has happened to the both of you, it’s like no time has passed at all. And with that in mind — filled with memories of the happiest 24 hours of her life — Chloe wants to make the only choice that, because of her condition, she alone is capable of making: The choice to die.
All Chloe wants is to be at peace. And she believes death is the means to that end.
I looked up the Catholic Church’s teaching on euthanasia, to make the best choice that I could:
…an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.
~Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 2277
A part of me hated reading those words.
All I wanted was to make Chloe happy. To show her that I was everything she wanted me to be.
I’m convinced the only reason I didn’t cry during this scene is because I was dehydrated — I’m better now: got a glass of water next to me as I write this — and I turned the volume down so that I wouldn’t hear how Chloe took my refusal to grant her request. I had subtitles on though.
I couldn’t kill Chloe.
Even though she hates me now, I thought, someday, somewhere, she’ll understand.
I thought that because: This wasn’t Chloe’s end. There was a miracle that could save her: Max’s time travel powers.
And that realization got me thinking about God…
God, like Max with her knowledge of alternate realities thanks to her powers, knows more than we do. Like Chloe, we say “This is the only way,” and God, like Max, sits in a chair at our bedside, wanting us to know that there is another way:
“I am going to help you, but not like that. You have to believe me, Chloe.”
This scene taught me about trust.
This scene reminded me that I don’t have all the answers. And it’s because of that, that there are times where I need to do what Chloe refused to do and put myself in the hands of one who only wants me to be happy, trusting that they see what I cannot.
Chloe’s desire for peace reminds me of one of Kate Marsh’s favorite Bible verses. Kate being another friend of Max’s who wanted to die. It’s this verse that finally convinced her to not jump:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
On a humorous note:
After I refused to euthanize Chloe, I realized I was glad to refuse her for another reason:
What if the police charged Chloe’s parents, or Max, with her death?
After all: There is no evidence to prove that Chloe died because she wanted to.
All I could think of was Ron’s words to Brick:
“Lay low for awhile because you’re probably wanted for murder.”